Minor's off to winning start in championship

Desertmartin 2-10 St Marks 3-6

Anyone looking at the above scoreline would think they missed a closely
fought South Derry Minor championship game. Nothing could be further
from the truth and Desertmartin will be wondering how they did not win
this game by a very comfortable margin. One factor to consider in this
is that here is a team whose season began in April and now approaching
the beginning of September they were playing only their 5th competitive
match. This says much for the administrators of our games and the hap
hazard manner in which games are organized. In fact last nights game
was changed 3 times from the original fixture including a cancellation
just over an hour before throw in on Monday night.

During the league phase games were called off at will with certain clubs dictating when their games would be played. For management it was a nightmare as more often than not games were called off at very late notice. The South Derry Board need to seriously address these problems otherwise young players will turn to other sports.

Desertmartin started brightly and Enda McGuckin gave them an early advantage with a pointed free. Desertmartin dominated the early exchanges but failed to convert this superiority into scores and from the first real attack St Marks levelled the scores with a pointed free. The trend continued really for the remainder of the game Desertmartin dominating but failing to convert the numerous chances. Enda O’Hagan opened a 2 point gap converting a 50 and adding another good score from play. St Marks then replied with their second point. Midway through the half Desertmartin looked to have found a breakthrough John Hughes finishing to the net after Enda O’Hagan’s shot rebounded of the post. Desertmartin failed to capitalise on this however and two St Marks points reduced the gap to two points. Just before half time Stephen Gormley got some reward for an industrious half with a fine point.
Half Time: Desertmartin 1-4 St Marks 0-4

With the aid of the breeze in the second half the supporters were hoping that Desertmartin could come out and finish of the game in style. It wasn’t to be however as the second half was almost a mirror image of the first Desertmartin dominating play but not converting their chances. St Marks struck first in the second half with the opening point but desertmartin replied with an Enda McGuickan point. A few minutes later a great sweeping move was finished to the net by Paul McGovern Donal Murray added a great point and Desertmartin had opened a seven point lead. St Marks backs were to the wall at this stage but they were handed a lifeline when in a rare attack the found the net.

Desertmartin continued to dominate but continued to miss another Donal Murray point was replied to by St Marks to leave 4 points between the teams. Desertmartin finished very strongly with further points coming from Enda McGuckin and two from John Hughes to leave seven points between the teams. With time almost up a mistake at the back allowed St Marks to hit their second goal and 3 minutes into injury time they struck again to unbelievably finish within a point.

As stated earlier a lack of competitive games could have cost the team but a one point win in the championship gets the same reward as a 25 point win. And the team can now start work for a semi final meeting with the winners of the Castledawson/Greenlough tie.

On the night their were good displays from Christopher in goals who pulled of a couple of good saves. Apart from the last couple of minutes the defence all played well with Cathal Brown and Eoin Hegarty particularly good. Donal and Greg controlled the middle for most of the game whilst up front the two Endas, Stephen and Paul mc Govern played well. 

The team know they can all play better and a bit of work on the inter play particularly up front will surely pay dividends.  

Team and scorers

1. C Bradley
2. C Brown
3. C Madden
4. R Murray
5. E Hegarty
6. C Monaghan
7. G McGovern
8. D Murray (0-2)
9. S Gormley (0-1)
10. E O’Hagan (0-2)
11. P McGovern (1-0)
12. J Hughes (1-2)
13. E McGuckin (0-3)

14. P McFlynn
15. M Connery
16. M McBride
17. S Fullen
18. S McStravock

Check out the Match Photo’s